More women leading the fight against climate change as scientists, engineers and NGO heads: Grace Fu

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu speaking at the International Women’s Day Conference at Shangri-la Singapore on March 6, 2022. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - More women are getting involved in sustainability and taking the lead in the fight against climate change, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said on Sunday (March 6).

Around the world, women are lending their expertise as scientists, engineers and heads of non-governmental organisations, Ms Fu said in remarks on women and sustainability at the International Women's Day Conference organised by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).

In Singapore, many chief sustainability officer positions in companies such as the Singapore Exchange and CapitaLand are held by women, she added.

This year's theme for International Women's Day, which falls on Tuesday, is "gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow".

Last year, a not-for-profit society, Women in Sustainability and Environment, was formed to advocate for women as consumers, investors and professionals to champion sustainability, said Ms Fu.

She added: "This is an excellent example of how women can be positive influencers in driving change on the ground. I hope to see more women step forward to champion such ground-up initiatives."

In her speech, Ms Fu also noted how it was important to foster equality in the workplace so that women can better juggle work and family duties. While there might not be outright discrimination in workplaces, women can feel that they have been passed over for promotions due to caregiving responsibilities, she said.

Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world was one of the topics discussed during a panel discussion at the conference, which was held at the Shangri-La hotel and streamed online.

Panel participants included Ms Rachel Eng, founding partner of law firm Eng and Co, and Mrs Ng Gim Choo, founder of EtonHouse International Education Group.

The participants also discussed how the Covid-19 pandemic had disrupted their industries and how they helped their companies adapt.

For instance, Ms Liu Lu, co-founder of co-working firm JustCo, shared how her firm launched co-working booths at malls that allowed people to work remotely.

This helped her company pivot, even as demand for co-working spaces fell as fewer people returned to the office during the pandemic.

SCCCI president Roland Ng, who delivered the welcome speech at the event, thanked the panellists for bringing insights from diverse industries, such as the financial, legal and educational sectors.

He said: "Over the past two years, the pandemic has impacted the business landscape.

"In this era of great change, opportunities are everywhere. Career women who keep up with the times will definitely be able to shine bright in their own ways."

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